×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Monkees tour pays homage to Jones

Erstwhile '60s TV institution stage nationwide tour

Of all the possible ways the Monkees could have responded to the death of the group’s most popular member (and biggest sex symbol), staging a nationwide reunion tour mere months afterward would not have seemed the most obvious. Yet that’s exactly what the erstwhile ’60s TV institution did after the death of Davy Jones from a heart attack last year.

In fact, it was at a private family and friends memorial for Jones that the remaining Monkees — Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith — resumed long-tabled discussions about working together again.

“Actually we were all thinking of touring almost six months before Davy passed,” recalled Dolenz. “There had been conversations and emails exchanged between us all during that time. So in a way it was like, ‘What do we do now?'”

Ironically, rather than a last-gasp memorial jaunt, the tour ended up marking the group’s first full-scale outing in years with singer-songwriter Nesmith, who was a frequent absentee from the group’s later tours and projects.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be the ‘Davy Jones rock and roll memorial tour,'” Dolenz said. “The original idea leaned towards us doing most of the ‘Headquarters’ album material combined with the greatest hits. It would, however, be a wonderful trip and homage to Davy, including projected videos with him singing lead. Once we decided on that the immediate problem was how we were going to honor Davy.

“The biggest problem was (the Jones-performed) ‘Daydream Believer.’ It’s a great song and one of our biggest hits, which we definitely had to include in the show. Frankly, none of us wanted to sing it. I think it was Mike who said the song belongs to the fans so let’s have one of them sing it, which I helped one of them do at each show.”

Though they eventually became something of a punchline due to their ersatz origins, the Monkees have proven an oddly resilient commerial power, with songs reappearing regularly in films and TV, and the group just notched a gold record for a 2003 best-of release. As Dolenz noted, “Perhaps the one thing people don’t remember about our initial recordings is that we had original songs by Neil Diamond, Carole King, and Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart who were writing for us.”

Dolenz has been busy recording solo work on UMG-distribbed imprint Robo Records, and his bandmates have individual projects of their own. (Dolenz’s newest record, “Remember,” includes a cover of the Beatles’ “Good Morning,” for which Dolenz was present at the initial recording. “I was dressed like a cross between Ronald McDonald and Charles Manson,” he recalled. The Beatles “all had silly grins when they looked at me, as if they were thinking, ‘is this kid trick or treating?’ or ‘did this guy win some sort of contest?'”)

As for future Monkees projects, however, Dolenz defers to Nesmith. “I think he’s going to do some solo dates to play his own music. Peter and I would like to record with Mike again but we presently have no plans. We recorded all the shows, so there might be a live album coming out. I don’t think getting a deal would be a problem. We just have to agree on new music that we’d all want to record.”

More Music

  • Alicia Keys23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards,

    Alicia Keys Will Return as 2020 Grammy Awards Host

    Alicia Keys will return as the host of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. Keys hosted the awards show for the first time in 2019. She will become the third woman and the first female music star to host the show twice. Keys has won 15 Grammy awards and is second only to Paul Simon as [...]

  • Lady Antebellum and Halsey53rd Annual CMA

    Halsey Puts the Extra Lady in Lady Antebellum in Elegant CMA Awards Medley

    Halsey is increasingly proving herself a woman for all seasons in her varied TV appearances and awards show collaborations, and Wednesday’s CMA Awards telecast was no exception, as she ingratiated herself into the country vocal trio Lady Antebellum for some flawless four-part harmony on a medley of two of their respective hits. She and Lady [...]

  • Drummers Steve Gorman, left, and Dave

    Steve Gorman Calls The Black Crowes' Reunion ‘Sad’

    The Black Crowes made waves this week when they officially announced a lengthy reunion tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album “Shake Your Money Maker.” The news was chiefly met with excitement and positive vibes, including glowing reviews of their first show in six years at the Bowery Ballroom in New York [...]

  • Lil Nas X53rd Annual CMA Awards,

    CMA Awards 2019: Full Winners List (Updating Live)

    The CMA Awards are taking place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday night, with Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton hosting. The ceremony is airing live on ABC. Maren Morris leads the nominations with six total. Nominees and winners were selected by more than 7,400 industry professional members from the Country Music Association. [...]

  • Billie Eilish performs during Music MidTown

    Song Review: Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’ (Listen)

    Virtually everything about Billie Eilish’s career has been against the grain, unusual or at least unlike basically everyone else, and that’s also the case with “Everything I Wanted,” her first new song since July’s “Bad Guy” remix with Justin Bieber. Frankly, it couldn’t be much further from “Bad Guy”: Neither a menacing banger like that [...]

  • Paradigm's Liz Morentin portrait session in

    Paradigm's Executive VP of Communications Liz Morentin to Exit Agency

    Liz Morentin is stepping down from her role as executive vice president of communications at Paradigm, Variety has learned. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Morentin’s departure was amicable and she will stay on at the agency through the end of the year to help with the transition. No replacement has been named at [...]

  • Carrie UnderwoodThe Grand Ole Opry, Nashville,

    How to Watch the 2019 CMA Awards Online

    Carrie Underwood fans can catch her hosting the 53rd annual Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night. While her usual co-host Brad Paisley has bowed out of the gig this year, Underwood will continue her 12-year streak with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton joining her. Together, the three will celebrate the biggest names in today’s country [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content